Insuring Your Car: Online Car Insurance vs. Insurance Agent

Getting insurance for your car, whether it is a hybrid, diesel, electric, or gas powered is the same process for everyone. Vehicle owners face a variety of insurance options with many companies competing for their business. Insurance companies spend billions of dollars on advertising all seemingly stating they can save you money on insurance.

But which is the cheapest way to buy insurance? Here are the pros and cons of securing car insurance online vs. using an insurance agent.

Buying from an Agent

The local insurance agent faces challenges. Does a person want to pay more just for the convenience of having a local insurance agent with a physical office? Maybe.  Some drivers who have used an insurance agent enjoy having the peace of mind and convenience of a physical agent to help them meet their insurance needs. Some people even develop a friendship with their local agent.

But as more people go online and feel more comfortable doing so, many are finding it is easier to acquire insurance this way compared to traditional methods.  This is especially true with agents who exclusively carry one company. Online shoppers can compare rates and get the best car insurance for their needs at the lowest prices. Plus when shopping online, you can generate quotes for insurance in just a few minutes. It is a convenient way to compare rates from multiple carriers.

Buying Online

One of the main benefits of generating quotes for auto insurance online instead of using an insurance agent is that many car insurance companies do not offer their car insurance plans through an insurance agent.  Because of this, a driver has more options online and can get quotes from many different companies. This competition and streamlining of costs can result in getting a lower rate.

It is a well-known fact that exclusive insurance agents cannot generate quotes or offer insurance from other car insurance companies. That is why so many drivers choose online car insurance vs. using an insurance agent these days.  You get to research the information you want. However, if you want a physical agent, it may be wise to choose an agent who carries multiple companies so they can compare different rates for you.

Which to Choose

When deciding whether to secure insurance online or through an insurance agent, you should always usually use the resource that is going to offer you the lowest rates. However, don’t solely focus on price. The amount of coverage and claims service is important to consider. Service and professional claims handling is just as important as price so be sure to get this information for each company you discuss.

One of the main benefits, if not the biggest benefit of securing insurance online instead of using an agent is that you can generate a quote for car insurance online securely anytime of the day or night, 24 hours per day.  If use a  physical agent, you don’t have the same flexibility.

Making the Decision

When comparing online insurance vs. using an insurance agent, it is important to consider the whole picture. Don’t skimp on coverage just to save a few bucks.  Rates can vary significantly and it is worth it to do your homework to make sure you know what you are getting what your options are.  By putting in the effort to shop around and do thorough research, you could lower the rates on insuring your car by hundreds of dollars a year. Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

So, how have you saved money on car insurance? Any tips and tricks to share?

This post was written by Jason Nelson.


Comments

Insuring Your Car: Online Car Insurance vs. Insurance Agent — 7 Comments

  1. The most important thing for me was that you stated “don’t skimp on coverage just to save a few bucks.” Often people are too cheap with one of the very things that holds huge finanical implications. That’s not very wise.

    • I agree. Sometimes it pays to spend a bit more to protect yourself. I have always been amazed how much car repairs are; a scratch on the bumper is $1000. Crazy.

      Plus, people’s lives are at stake when they drive a car- you don’t want to have to worry about a liability in an accident. Best to protect yourself ahead of time.

    • Those family relationships sure can pay off over the years. I have been going to the same mechanic my parents and grandma went to for the last 20+ years. He looks after me so well.

      We have government run insurance where I live so premiums are standardized for everyone.

  2. I don’t do either. I mean, I suppose I do the online thing, but I didn’t buy insurance that way. I’m my own agent. I call up all the different companies and get my own quotes, then decide which works best for me. I’m glad others have had good experience with agents, but my family’s experience has been (I’ll just say it, with State Farm) that they’re generally more concerned with sales and are slow to file your claims and get you the money or payment you need.

    • Doing the work yourself definitely has some benefits. You at least know you are making a decision on the information you have gathered yourself. Where I live there is only one place to get insurance- it is government run. Saves me the shopping around at least.

  3. Sometimes it pays to spend a bit more to protect yourself. I have always been amazed how much car repairs are; a scratch on the bumper is $1000. Crazy.

    Plus, people’s lives are at stake when they drive a car- you don’t want to have to worry about a liability in an accident. Best to protect yourself ahead of time.

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